HMRC statistics found that nearly £1.2bn of SDLT was raised in April from 173,430 property transactions completed in March, which is the highest figure ever recorded in a single month, according to London chartered accountants Blick Rothenberg LLP.
This brings the amount for the 12 months to April to £11bn, almost as much as Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax put together at £11.7bn.
Nimah Shah, partner at Blick Rothenberg, said it was inevitable that April would be a bumper month for SDLT revenue as investors scrambled to beat the surcharge.
“Changes in the tax system lead to behavioural change, and the advance warning by the government that SDLT would increase for second purchases from 1 April 2016, is certainly evidence of opportunistic buyers wanting to beat the tax rise,” said Shah.
Paul Haywood-Schiefer, assistant manager at Blick Rothenberg, predicted a slowdown in the market in the months ahead.
“Following this major upheaval in the tax, it will be interesting to see how property transactions and SDLT receipts fare over the next few months as the housing market relaxes itself,” he said.
“Those looking to purchase an additional property will be contemplating the increased SDLT costs, while those with two properties may not want to sell, knowing they will have additional SDLT to fund on replacing the second property.”